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Sean Cowen
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Sean Cowen

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My Rock N' Roll Bedroom Growing Up

Okay. You were (and are) a massive rock n' roll music lover. If you were a typical teen, you had to have had some rock band posters on your wall. Our bedrooms were our secret lairs - they were our private spaces, the places where we no longer had to share a bedroom with a younger sibling. It was there that we had the chance to express ourselves. The space was ours - it was our bedroom, and we damn well would put up whatever poster we wanted.

What rock n' roll bands' posters or photos did you have on your walls?

On your clothing and backpacks (what pins and buttons or patches); what bands on your guitar cases, in your school lockers, on your school binders, and on bumper stickers on your cars? (yes, that's for Old Schoolers. ha!)

I had posters of dozens of bands on the walls, and later, when I got older, I had massive sized posters of Nevermind and one big one of The Cult that I glued to a foam board. It must've been 4' x 6'. I had bumper stickers of tons of 80s bands, and I had patches sewn onto jackets that I had (thanks, Mom). I had a huge button collection that I wish I still had today (though I still have a few). Of course, at school, I had stickers everywhere in my locker and all over my binders. Yeah - a lifelong rock n' roll fan here.

Let's here how obsessive you were! :-)

#rocknroll   #musiclover   #musiclegend   #nirvana   #musicfan   #rocknrollposters   #growingup    

via/ Kurt Cobain by Masiz on DeviantArt
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Avenged Sevenfold: Nightmare and Hail to the king. Slipknot: All hope is gone. Three days grace. Collection still growing.
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C. Allan Gilbert - "All Is Vanity", 1892

Now and then, you stumble upon artwork that seems entirely appropriate for the times in which you live. With so much attention paid to self nowadays (think: selfie) and not to our fellow man, this work from 1892 seems to nail it down: our time here is limited, and we have to make the best of it while we are here. Very haunting, and cool...

About Charles Allan Gilbert

Charles Allan Gilbert (September 3, 1873 – April 20, 1929), better known as C. Allan Gilbert, was a prominent American illustrator. He is especially remembered for a widely published drawing (a memento mori or vanitas) titled All Is Vanity.

The drawing employs a double image (or visual pun) in which the scene of a woman admiring herself in a mirror, when viewed from a distance, appears to be a human skull. The title is also a pun, as this type of dressing-table is also known as a vanity.

The phrase "All is vanity" comes from Ecclesiastes 1:2 (Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.) It refers to the vanity and pride of man. In art, vanity has long been represented as a woman preoccupied with her beauty. And art that contains a human skull as a focal point is called a memento mori (Latin for "remember you will die"), a work that reminds people of their mortality.

It is less widely known that Gilbert was an early contributor to animation, and a camouflage artist (or camoufleur) for the U.S. Shipping Board during World War I.

#art   #amomentomori    #vanity   #death   #skull   #mortality   #illustrationart  

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Niccolo Machiavelli Born On This Day In History, 3 May 1469

With the Circus we've had in the Political Arena in the United States for the last year or so - this seems entirely timely and relevant. Say the word "Machiavellian" and you instantly conjure up images of our political process here in the States. There is no avoiding it...

On this day in 1469, the Italian philosopher and writer Niccolo Machiavelli is born. A lifelong patriot and diehard proponent of a unified Italy, Machiavelli became one of the fathers of modern political theory.

Machiavelli entered the political service of his native Florence by the time he was 29. As defense secretary, he distinguished himself by executing policies that strengthened Florence politically. He soon found himself assigned diplomatic missions for his principality, through which he met such luminaries as Louis XII of France, Pope Julius II, the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and perhaps most importantly for Machiavelli, a prince of the Papal States named Cesare Borgia. The shrewd and cunning Borgia later inspired the title character in Machiavelli’s famous and influential political treatise The Prince (1532).

Machiavelli’s political life took a downward turn after 1512, when he fell out of favor with the powerful Medici family. He was accused of conspiracy, imprisoned, tortured and temporarily exiled. It was an attempt to regain a political post and the Medici family’s good favor that Machiavelli penned The Prince, which was to become his most well-known work.

Though released in book form posthumously in 1532, The Prince was first published as a pamphlet in 1513. In it, Machiavelli outlined his vision of an ideal leader: an amoral, calculating tyrant for whom the end justifies the means. The Prince not only failed to win the Medici family’s favor, it also alienated him from the Florentine people. Machiavelli was never truly welcomed back into politics, and when the Florentine Republic was reestablished in 1527, Machiavelli was an object of great suspicion. He died later that year, embittered and shut out from the Florentine society to which he had devoted his life.

Though Machiavelli has long been associated with the practice of diabolical expediency in the realm of politics that was made famous in The Prince, his actual views were not so extreme. In fact, in such longer and more detailed writings as Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy (1517) and History of Florence (1525), he shows himself to be a more principled political moralist. Still, even today, the term “Machiavellian” is used to describe an action undertaken for gain without regard for right or wrong.

#machiavelli   #italy   #thisdayinhistory   #florence   #politics   #politicaltheory  


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+Joey Peters I've only seen the one portrait of him, and it's this. That's what is out there. Cartoony? Maybe, but I guess that's what the lesser artist captured...
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It Was The Best of Times, It Was The Worst of Times. Tomorrow is National Teacher Appreciation Day - May 3, 2016

In honor of that, I thought we'd have a little more complex poll, as education is complex and truly is one of the building blocks of our success as human beings. Did you have one teacher (or maybe ten) who went above and beyond? They pushed you, they inspired you, they made you want to be a better person?

1. I had one or more amazing teachers! (see my story in the comments)

2.  I wish I had teachers that inspired me. 

3. It was hard to be inspired by school, hated it.

4. All my teachers were out of Dickens novels. (and not the good characters - the mean ones. The harsh ones. The nasty ones!)

5. It's all a haze. Did I even go to school?

My story

I had handfuls of those teachers, but my most memorable is probably my 12th grade English teacher, Mrs. Roberts. That was a tough year for me - I was on the road a lot with the speech and debate team, I was on the tennis team, I won the lead in the Fall play, and I was at a brand-new high school. I had no idea what I wanted to do in college. Mrs. R pushed me so damn hard (she could see I loved English) and she would grill me all the time on details and minutiae in literature. She worked me to the bone over Shakespeare and Dickens, Hawthorne, Whitman, Poe, Twain, Steinbeck, Dickinson, and on and on and on until my eyeballs bled (yes, embellishment. Cough) -- and guess what? When I became a lit major, I was ready.

#poll   #teacherappreciation   #education   #inspiration   #greatteachers  

119 votes  -  votes visible to Public
One or more amazing teachers inspired me
I wish I had teachers that inspired me.
It was hard to be inspired by school.
They were evil Dickens characters!
It's all a haze - did I go to school?!?
Michael Heuerman's profile photoAmanda Rachelle Warren's profile photoRavikiran B A's profile photoGloria Martínez's profile photo
yo me siento afortunada por haber tenido los mejores profesores, con verdadera vocación, que me enseñaron el valor del esfuerzo y la constancia y, sobre todo, me enseñaron a pensar... pero eso fue hace tiempo, sé que ahora la educación es deficitaria por falta de recursos pero, sobre todo, por falta de una buena legislación... hay que invertir más en educación y en dotar a los profesores y las escuelas de los medios adecuados... y también hay que educar a los alumnos con motivación, se juegan su futuro pero ellos no lo saben y no le dan importancia...
gracias por esta encuesta de opinión y por los posts que compartes, me parecen muy interesantes... que tengas una buena noche, saludos desde Málaga, España :)
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Sean Cowen

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Hello. I'm Johnny Cash

There was no mistaking Johnny Cash's on-stage style. Pictured here performing in 1959, he holds his guitar right up to his chin, as he often did. If there is a list of Old School Rock N' Roll Legends, Johnny will surely always be right near the top. He embodied Americana and he oozed being cool. What a life, and what a man!

Rare, revealing photos of the musician from Life Unseen: Johnny Cash an illustrated biography full of pictures from Sony Music Entertainment's archives.

#johnnycash   #musician   #guitarist   #rocknroll   #guitar  


Bonus Videos

Johnny Cash - "God's Gonna Cut You Down"

Johnny Cash  - "Folsom Prison Blues"
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Wish I had seen Him!
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Sean Cowen

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Sgt. Stryker's Death Squad and Our Army At War Featuring Sgt. Rock: New Additions to My World War II Collection

Yes, admittedly, I am a geek at heart. While I love comics, I got these a few weekends back to add to my World War II collection. It's a group of books, models, Field Manuals, photographs, gear, Blu-Ray's - essentially anything authentic and of the period that honors the soldiers who preserved our way of life in one of the darkest periods in our history -- or honors the people in the homeland who sacrificed so much for their success."

I'm not sure when I'll have my grand display done (are collectors ever really done?) But when I do, I'll show it here. I'd like to add some more models and other ephemera first to make it cooler.

Do you collect anything? Tell us about your collections (and the lengths you've gone to to add to them!)

#worldwarii   #soldiers   #comics   #comicbooks   #collection   #collectibles   #collectors   #wwii   #war   #memorabilia  

FYI, in Death Squad, their mission is: Kill Rommel! In Sgt. Rock, it features a Gut-Grabbing Combat Saga - Brittle Harvest!
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Sean Cowen

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Star Wars Day - Juan Esteban Rodriguez - The Empire Strikes Back

This was a limited edition screen print, produced with only 225 pieces. Unfortunately, it is long "sold out." But in honor of #starwarsday I thought it represented. Old School.

#starwars   #starwarsfans   #empirestrikesback   #atat   #maythe4th #screenprint   #screenprinting  

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Sean Cowen

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'Voodoo Chile' by The Jimi Hendrix Experience Was Recorded on May 3, 1968

1968, The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded 'Voodoo Chile.' It was featured on the 'Electric Ladyland' double album and became a UK No.1 single on 21st November 1970 two months after the guitarist's death. Hendrix's solo on the track was named the 11th greatest solo of all-time in Guitar World's 100 Greatest Guitar Solos.

#jimihendrix   #voodoochile   #rocknroll   #rocknrollhistory   #guitar   #guitarist  

Jimi Hendrix - "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" [Live Stockholm 1969]

image | Jimi Hendrix, Panhandle Festival at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco... - Psychedelic Jungle
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Him an Prince R Shaking Up the Heavens!
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Sean Cowen

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Astronomers Find 3 ‘Temperate’ Planets That May Support Life

Wonderful. Great! Love this story. But after citing Nature , the co-author of the paper in the Journal, Michael Gillon of the University of Liege in Belgium, and M.I.T. Researcher Julian De Wit - this "writer" then pulls quotes from sources Gizmodo (a blog from Gawker Media. Yes, them.) and The Verge -- from Vox Media. Both, imho, are questionable sources for this sort of scientific topic.

Maybe I'm reading too much into things, but so much fact-checking is no-existent any more (even at the major newspapers) and this kind of trend - mixing content from real scientific journals with content from blogs and entertainment sites - troubles me. 

#spaceexploration   #theuniverse   #lifeelsewhere   #outerspace   #temperateplanets  
The Earth-like planets are the first ones found orbiting an ultracool dwarf star.
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Well we mess up the world an now we want to go an mess up some where else;; Never will make ; space travel is  so far into furfure; If at all possible;; 
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Sean Cowen

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Boats and Rocks by Giorgio Gosti of Italy

It's always striking to me how some artworks and original paintings jump out at me. They absolutely capture my eye. This is one of those. If you have a chance to explore a bit at, do so. You will discover amazing contemporary works of art that will stir your imagination.

This watercolor original is 17 x 13 and it very much reminds me of adventures, and even of The Lord of The Rings films. It's ethereal and filled with wonder...

#watercolors   #art   #originalart   #painters   #painting   #saatchi  

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+max yu Exactly! I was trying to recall a Chines artist who did these amazing watercolors for travel books in England. Maybe 1930s-1950s or so. I cannot remember his name, or the book series, but they had the most amazing watercolor drawings... I know he did one on Oxford for sure, but that is all I recall...
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22 Incredible Outdoor Cinemas Worldwide

Ah, seriously cool. There are some phenomenal places here to visit, and who wouldn't want to have a unique experience like this? It got me thinking: what's the most unusual cinema you've watched a movie at?

I'll get things started. In Prague, in Kampa Park I  think it was, I was out with a group of friends to watch the opening night of Pulp Fiction. The theater had seats that were scattered within old mining cars. Our seats were inside the cars, and It was wacky and wild, and that is where I first saw this masterpiece.

What's your best story?

#hollywood   #cinema   #movietheater   #movietheatre   #movies   #outdoorcinema   #films  

I think my favourite is No. 6: Hot Tub Cinema!
If “all the world is a stage,” according to he whom we deem to be a preeminent authority on the subject (Shakespeare), why wouldn’t anywhere in the world be the perfect setting for the screen? Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to present to you the 22 incredibly unique outdoor cinema experiences in the world – for your viewing pleasure, of course. Did we start another #BucketList?!
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I love it
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Sean Cowen

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Empire State Building Dedicated On This Day in History, 1931

On this day in 1931, President Herbert Hoover officially dedicates New York City’s Empire State Building, pressing a button from the White House that turns on the building’s lights. Hoover’s gesture, of course, was symbolic; while the president remained in Washington, D.C., someone else flicked the switches in New York.

The idea for the Empire State Building is said to have been born of a competition between Walter Chrysler of the Chrysler Corporation and John Jakob Raskob of General Motors, to see who could erect the taller building. Chrysler had already begun work on the famous Chrysler Building, the gleaming 1,046-foot skyscraper in midtown Manhattan. 

Not to be bested, Raskob assembled a group of well-known investors, including former New York Governor Alfred E. Smith. The group chose the architecture firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates to design the building. The Art-Deco plans, said to have been based in large part on the look of a pencil, were also builder-friendly: The entire building went up in just over a year, under budget (at $40 million) and well ahead of schedule. During certain periods of building, the frame grew an astonishing four-and-a-half stories a week

At the time of its completion, the Empire State Building, at 102 stories and 1,250 feet high (1,454 feet to the top of the lightning rod), was the world’s tallest skyscraper. The Depression-era construction employed as many as 3,400 workers on any single day, most of whom received an excellent pay rate, especially given the economic conditions of the time. The new building imbued New York City with a deep sense of pride, desperately needed in the depths of the Great Depression, when many city residents were unemployed and prospects looked bleak. 

The grip of the Depression on New York’s economy was still evident a year later, however, when only 25 percent of the Empire State’s offices had been rented.

In 1972, the Empire State Building lost its title as world’s tallest building to New York’s World Trade Center, which itself was the tallest skyscraper for but a year. Today the honor belongs to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa tower, which soars 2,717 feet into the sky.

#empirestatebuilding   #newyorkcity   #skyscraper   #nyc   #history   #architecture  


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Basic Information
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October 21
In a domestic partnership
Writer first, then Bookseller, Speaker... Founder of +Friday Night Sessions and +Helping Others. Passionate about the arts, and life.
About Me

I started on Google+ back in June of 2011, and I think I've learned a thing or two along the way. I live on a farm in (I kid you not) Hicksville, Ohio. Surrounded by cornfields and soybeans. My driveway is a 1/4 mile long and the nearest neighbors are about a mile away. Yes, very Walking Dead isolated!

I tend to be an eclectic writer; I often post on topics such as world travel, NASA, literature, science, archaeology, steampunk, space, technology and sci-fi. I'm as apt to post about vintage retro robots as I am to post about a new tech gadget, or a book I've just completed. I'm a major fan of Tolkien and anything Star Wars, a fan of classic poetry and literature, and emerging writers. I'm an amateur WWII and Civil War historian as well.

My posts generally have some sort of wow or cool factor to them (I strive for the *fun and interesting* label always), and I think I've put together a pretty good collection of writings.

My Social World

A bit more about me... I'm also a huge fan of photography, art, illustration, comics, music, and films. I've been a rare bookseller and book scout for over 15 years. Formerly, I lived in Prague, the Czech Republic (in Central Europe) for almost seven years where I managed a catering business, was a barista, rolled beer barrels in an Irish pub, wrote a few films, wrote a lot of poetry, rubbed elbows with Literati who visited Praha and where I was a bookseller at The Globe Bookstore and Cafe, the first English-speaking bookshop in Central Europe.

Places I have visited: Canada, Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, NASA. Places I have lived: Iowa, Maryland, Nevada, California, Ohio, Prague, and for one, brief shining moment, Dingle Ireland.

I created +Friday Night Sessions and +Helping Others, as well as some cool collections.
Bragging rights
For 2012, 2013, and 2014 I've been an Official Elf for +Secret Santa. I attended the 2011 NASA Juno Launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral: lifetime dream fulfilled.
Writer and Creator
  • Creator of Worlds
    Creator of Worlds, present
  • FNS Studios
    Owner, 2011 - present
  • Pool Netr
    Marketing Manager, present
    Nationally launched three new product lines for Westar, the Pool Netr., the Spa Netr, and the Leaf Netr. Brand-new products for the swimming pool and spa market. An official advocate for the Google+ Advocates, and an Official Google+ Create member.
Sean Cowen's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Photo Gallery

This section will show you pictures and videos of our manufacturing process, from the beginning when we unboxed our steel mold, to our end p

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